Chief Operating Officer
Best pitch presenter you’ve ever seen:
Robbie Cowling – Chairman of Colchester United, where I spent nearly eight years heading up the commercial team. Robbie left school at 16 and went from apprentice car mechanic to multi-millionaire, and I saw him give a talk about his career that made a packed room, myself included, feel like they could accomplish anything they put their mind to with hard work and determination. The funny thing was, afterwards he said to me he hated public speaking but did it to push himself out of his comfort zone. Whenever I speak in public, I remember that.
Best sports marketing campaign (that wasn’t yours):
This Girl Can. When this campaign launched it was so different to anything that had come before, putting normal women at the heart of it. I also have a personal connection to it as a member of my team at Colchester was featured in it – we first found out when we saw her on a poster in the stadium!
Best young industry talent:
That’s like asking to pick your favourite child. At PTI we have such a talented team of young talent – genuine, data-driven marketers who are helping leading sports organisations transform and future-proof their businesses – that I wouldn’t be able to say just one person. So I plead the fifth.
Best sporting event attended:
The NFL at the Tottenham Stadium two years ago. The whole American production was astonishing. I remember being gobsmacked when the Jags mascot jumped from the roof. I’ll be honest, I didn’t have too much of an idea about what was happening in the game (much to my brother’s annoyance) but it didn’t matter because the gameday experience was so good.
Best brand ambassador:
For me it is Simon Milton, who played for Ipswich Town more than 300 times and is a club ambassador.
Footballers have a big of a reputation for being prima donnas but I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Milts for 20 years and I don’t think I’ve met anyone so selfless and passionate about giving back to the community around them.
Best agency (that isn’t yours):
We work closely with Oak View Group on Co-op Live (opening in Manchester next year) and see first hand how good salespeople they are.
Best sporting event on TV:
The Opening Ceremony of London 2012. The Queen, James Bond and the Spice Girls. Need I say more?
Best industry event or conference:
I don’t get to go to many these days but our CEO Ben just came back from Leaders and said he had an incredibly productive two days of meetings.
Best film containing a scene depicting the sports business:
A recent one actually – Air, with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Such a good watch.
Best book recommendation:
There’s a Nike theme here...has to be Shoe Dog by Phil Knight . It’s such a brilliant insight into the highs and lows of building a business, and his sheer determination to make Nike a success was mind-boggling.
Best bar or pub:
I’m not too picky - any I’m in with friends really! My current favourite is Bistro on the Quay, a wine bar on Ipswich Waterfront. It’s a great spot in the summer, and now the weather’s turned they’ve just introduced a turntable and a collection of classic LPs to create a great vibe inside.
El Mesón de Cervantes in Malaga. Five-star food and drink every time, and a warm welcome from the staff who always manage to remember us each time we visit.
Best holiday resort:
Not a resort, but Malaga is where we try to go to get some sun. It’s such a historic city and there’s so much to do, but equally you can just relax on the beach the whole time (which is what I normally do!).
Best box set:
Queen of the South – which is about a poor Mexican woman who builds a drug empire
Best influence on your career:
Tim Waddington, General Manager at Colchester United and my boss for eight years. Between us, we turned a slow conference and events business into a huge enterprise and showed how a stadium is far more than simply where a football club plays. Tim was always on hand for me to vent, offering sage advice and support, and would always remind me that things don’t come easy and perseverance pays off. Tim was also responsible for me creating a personal 10-year plan, which I’m five years in to.
Best dinner companions (min 4, max 6):
And my husband Jonathan – who always asks questions most people can’t get
away with and will therefore get the best out of our guests.
Best job in the sports biz:
Pitch-side presenter at the NFL. Much better to be in the action than presenting from a studio.
Best professional regret:
Not so much a regret but bad timing in my football jobs; I’ve seen relegation but never experienced promotion.
Best skill you most covet:
The art of delegation
Best trait you admire in others:
Guidance and leadership of teams and people, ensuring they can focus on tackling their own work and challenges.
Best overrated virtue:
Definitely patience. It may be a virtue, but sometimes being too patient delays decisions and action. In a fast-moving live entertainment sector like sport that can cause serious issues.
To fulfil my 10-year plan and enjoy the benefits of it.